Inducing Labor: 2 More Reasons to Avoid It

Cynthia Dermody
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woman waiting at windowSometimes there are good reasons to get the baby out. Like if you are past your 41st week and the risk of stillbirth increases, for example. Or when complications like high blood pressure develop, putting you and your child at greater risk than if you let nature take its course.

But all other times, it's better just to suck it up, stick it out, and let that baby come out when he or she is ready. Two new studies back this up.

The first: Research bolstering existing stats that voluntary inductions lead to more C-sections. A recent study of 7,800 first-time mothers found that those who had their labor induced were twice as likely to ultimately need a C-section.

Some of the reasons for these inductions? They wanted their doctors to deliver their baby, and if labor happened on Thursday, their doc might be out playing golf; they were uncomfortable and just wanted the baby out; it was more convenient on one day or another.

When the body isn't ready for labor on its own, it often doesn't behave the way we'd like it to, and other complications arise, forcing moms to go under the knife to finish what was started prematurely.

Cesarean section is generally a safe procedure, but it does carry risks. The mother has a longer recovery time, an increased chance of blood clots, and infection at the surgery site. And that's just mom. Here's a reason why vaginal births are better for baby ...

Infants born via cesarean section miss out on Mom's beneficial bacteria. Yup, as they pass through the birth canal, our little ones eat lots of vaginal bacteria. This initial colonization of microbes sets the stage for future health. Babies born the natural way are less likely develop asthma, allergies, and other immune-related problems that babies born surgically, who end up heavy on the yucky types of bacteria found around hospitals, like Staphylococcus and Acinetobacter.

Cindy Fahey, executive director of the Perinatal Advisory Council, a leading source of information on perinatal care in California, says the following are valid reasons for inducing labor:

  • A pregnancy that lasts beyond 41 weeks;
  • Diabetes;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Obesity;
  • An overly large fetus;
  • Rupture of membranes without spontaneous labor;
  • Decreased amniotic fluid.

 

Image via whatmegsaid/Flickr

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